IL House Votes Down Blago Portrait
Portraits of Illinois' former governors hang in the state capitol. But House lawmakers want to make sure a likeness of the state's last governor, Rod Blagojevich, doesn't join them, at taxpayers' expense.
Previous Illinois governors have gotten in trouble with the law ... including Otto Kerner and George Ryan. Portraits of both men still hang in the Capitol. But Rod Blagojevich is the only Illinois Governor to have been impeached and removed from office.
Republican Representative Bill Black of Danville says that distinction is why he doesn't want the state to foot the bill for a painting of Blaogjevich ... which Black estimates could cost up to $25,000.
"I don't think it unreasonable to say you forfeit your right to have the taxpayers memorialize your time as Governor", said Black. "You've given up that right when you were impeached and convicted by the Illinois Senate."
Black says if a private group or the family wants to pay for a portrait ... that's O-K.
While Black's measure passed ... 23 representatives voted "no", including Onarga Republican Shane Cultra
Representative Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat, ultimately voted for the measure. But he says you can't just erase history.
"Sometimes its been shameful", said Franks, chuckling, "but it's our history."
If it becomes law, the measure will apply to any Governor thrown out of office.
The House also approved a measure requiring public officials convicted of corruption to forfeit and return to the state any profits of their crimes. That measure passed 107-0.